Monday, December 21, 2009

Pantone Shoes

All design nerds: J Crew has Pantone shoes. Let's hope they come out with a larger variety of colors soon. Check it out.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Today, with the help of Pantone and Michele Bernhardt, I found out what my birth color is. Below is my birth color and my personality traits as determined by the month and date I was born. Check yours out at Colorstrology.

My color: green-blue slate
Traits: complex, quickwitted and expressive

Perceptive and intellectually gifted, you can read people quite easily. You often know just what to say or do in order to give people what they want. You are expressive and funny and people like it when you entertain them. It is important for you to discover your own wants and needs. Being outdoors is one of the ways that you can relax and remember who you really are. Your personal color gives you the strength to move through the complexities of life. Wearing, mediating or surrounding yourself with the color green-blue slate reminds you to take care of yourself as you interact with others.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Real Simple Magazine Subscription for $5

I just thought I would bring everyone's attention to the $5 magazine subscription promo on! Thanks to Twitter and my friend Kelly's tweeting, I found out about this awesome deal. Through today only (Dec. 1) you can get any of 10 different 1-year subscriptions for five bucks. I ordered Real Simple for its great recipes and home ideas. Don gets Popular Science since he is constantly watching the Discovery Channel. Also included on the list are: Cosmo, Southern Living, Food and Wine, People StyleWatch, Popular Science, House Beautiful, Travel + Leisure, SmartMoney, and Sports Illustrated for Kids. Happy reading, everyone!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Since MTV Doesn't Play Music Anymore...

When I was younger, I remember seeing music videos all the time on MTV and VH1. Now they are consumed with scripted reality TV shows and I have to dig to discover the newest ones. I thought this interactive video by Cold War Kids was unique. It allows you to click on each member of the band during the song to turn each instrument (or the vocals) off and on. I also found that the instruments on the page change. Once you see the instruments you want to see included, press play now. There are several sound possibilities. What a great way to engage the viewer in a unique music experience.

P.S. If the video loads quickly and doesn't wait for you to press the button, load the website again and it should change the instruments automatically for you.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Felt and Wire Shop

Twitter is a beautiful thing. A letterpress firm I follow posted a link to Felt and Wire, a site I've never heard of. Maybe I am just behind on things. Like, it is a community of designers that create online stores to sell their merchandise. Felt and Wire is somewhat unique, seeing that it is dedicated to the art of paper goods. Brought to us by Mohawk Fine Papers, it is a hidden treasure of design bliss. Score! For quite some time now I have been working on designing my own cards, gift tags and other fun paper pieces. Eventually I will share those with you on here. This new discovery makes me that much more excited about the designs I've been working on.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hooray for Being Productive!

I have been spending most of my waking time working on my portfolio lately. I have a great feeling about this, and I expect to be back into the creative world by early 2010. For those of you who know me well, it's about time.

This morning, rather than sharing something design related, I'm going to provide you with a hilarious website that is simply just for fun. Feeling a little stressed? Try looking at these photos from People of Walmart. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thanks to Jessi...

Thanks to Jessi over at The Design Slice, our thrift store adventures have been documented. Check out her site for all the details.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Bargain Buddy

I was visiting The Design Slice blog the other day, and Jessi was talking about some of her fabulous vintage finds. While in college, the two of us would rummage through antiques and Goodwill stores in search of buried treasures. Her posts have inspired me to share a couple of my recent buys.

First of all, I found this original woodcut artwork (signed and everything) along with this lamp at a consignment store in Carroll, Iowa. I plan on painting the lamp and of course, adding a lampshade. I'll also be on the hunt for a bargain frame for my new piece of art!

During my stay in Iowa City, Iowa a few months ago, I visited another thrift store where I found this magazine holder. It now has a spot in my office, and is home to creative goodies I get in the mail and can't stand to recycle.

Jessi will be visiting me this weekend, and we have plans to do some serious bargain-hunting. Nothing pumps me up like a coffee in hand, exploring thrift stores!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Traveling, and therefore not updating my blog

I have had a busy week. I zoomed down to Iowa and went to an apple orchard for my brother's birthday, found some beautiful thrift store treasures, returned to work for two days, then spent 1.5 days by Lake Superior. Not to mention I attended my friend Jessie's wedding earlier this month. I have lots of fun things to talk about, but evidently no time to type. Be watching for updates! :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Easy Artwork

I have problems. I have problems finding artwork for my apartment that I REALLY like. Either the pieces in stores aren't my style, or they aren't the right color or size for my space. It can be frustrating, right? I am on a mission to create artwork myself, or at least do it in a thrifty way. I was excited to come across Canvas on Demand today, an internet company that prints your photos on a piece of canvas for an affordable price. What a great way to get large scale artwork using stock photos, your own photos, or mixed media pieces!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wall Tattoo

I have been wanting to re-decorate my apartment for a while now, but I just need to implement the design vision I have in my head. It was exciting to find this Benjamin Moore wall tattoo in a magazine the other day, since I had imagined using a similar concept for an area of my living room walls. Hopefully the company will release other design options in the future. What a fantastic way to introduce beautiful design into the homes of those who are intimidated by DIY stenciling.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Strawberry Swing Video

I have been fascinated with music videos my entire life, and this one for Coldplay's song "Strawberry Swing" made my creative fuzzies go to work. It works as a story of sorts, a short film almost. After watching generic dance move videos on MTV (if MTV is actually playing music) for the past few years, this is a breath of fresh air. The video is almost entirely illustrated, and features Chris Martin as the main character. During the duration of the song he floats on a smoke cloud and fights off a giant squirrel by throwing a tempting acorn at it. The art was created by Shynola, designers who have created similar videos for Beck, Radiohead and many others. The essence of the song really seems to be captured in their work. If the design process interests you, check out this interview with Shynola about the creation of Coldplay's video. I'm all giddy now...someone has to stop me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Attention typography snobs!

This morning I came upon the wonderful website of House Industries. Check out the awesome clothing and home furnishings for designers. You can request a free catalog, and even nab three free fonts while you're there.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I heart illustration

All images above can be found on Nate's website.

I am constantly looking for interesting and innovative artists, products and random quirky objects. Last summer I discovered the illustrations of Nate Williams. You may recognize his work, which has been featured in publications all over the world. His playful integration of color, line quality and hand lettering never fails to grab my attention. Nate's website includes examples of his illustrations, as well as wallpaper options for your computer, iPod or iPhone. Also check out Letter Playground, a site Nate launched that allows users to upload their own illustrated typography.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Critters and Creatures, Oh My!

So I really need to get back to working on my freelance project, but I'll give you a quick overview of last Sunday.

Mpls Farmers Market
I forgot to take pictures since I was so in love with the beautiful fruits and vegetables. I try to go to the Farmer's market every other weekend for fresh produce. Don's mom Vicki accompanied us, and we had fresh squeezed orange juice and a pecan roll for breakfast! I brought home tomatoes, cilantro, potatoes, berries, cucumbers and tons of other goodies. Yum.

Como Zoo
I had never been to the Como Zoo before, and it was the perfect day to go. It operates off of donations and is so much fun. Some of the animals we saw included giraffes, zebras, lions, tigers, sea lions, and gorillas. One of the gorillas had a baby that was struggling to swing on the ropes, and finally gave up and was aimlessly wandering on the ground. The mom realized it was lonely and reached for its hand and pulled it up. Oh, and apparently gorillas like the throw things.

Forget the animals for a second, I really liked the typographic art piece on the wall that listed major donors. :) Look above for our experience in photos.

State Fair Wonderful-ness

For once in my life, I had last weekend off! Don and I decided to make the most of it and on Saturday went to the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul. To avoid eating a mountain of greasy fried on-a-stick food, we ate breakfast at Sonic, the most delicious place ever. Last year we dealt with a great deal of frustration when trying to find a parking spot, so this year we utilized the Park and Ride to get there.

It was a beautiful day, and we spent a majority of our time at the animal building and the art gallery. Most of the artwork was very impressive, and we saw (from a distance) a vet performing surgery on an animal that we weren't close enough to identify. I also can't forget that Don insisted that we stare at "big machines" or anything that had an interesting engineering component.

Highlights of our visit:
1. Don saying that he could imagine a giant monster gobbling up the people who were being escorted from one side of the fair to the other in the seats. Sorry, for the life of me I can't think of what they are called. Maybe he has watched Cloverfield too many times. Look at the picture below if I have completely confused you with my vague descriptions.

2. While there, I also received a message that my friend Jessie got engaged! Congrats, Jessie!

3. The yummy strawberry smoothies, and pretending to be Mona Lisa. See below.

Visiting Iowa

A few weeks ago I made a trip to Iowa to visit my mom and brother, and I would have to say that visiting the Santa Maria Winery in Caroll, Iowa was the most enjoyable thing we did together. Having heard mixed reviews from locals, the three of us decided to form our own opinions.

The restaurant has a tuscan-inspired interior, which is unusual for a small town like Carroll. I'm not much of a wine fan, but I do love food. My choice of food was the caprese panini (the basic mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil) with lemon mayo on sourdough. It was absolutely delicious and was served with a salad and fresh vegetables. After eating we decided to look around the rest of the building, which was formerly an auto dealership. It has been transformed into not only a restaurant, but an event center complete with an outdoor courtyard. Sculptural art pieces are built onto the walls themselves, and even the restrooms have a sophisticated and modern appeal to them.

Here is the website if anyone is interested in checking it out online:

Yay for sophisticated local businesses!

New ventures

First of all, I'd like to apologize for neglecting my blog. My schedule has been frantic lately. I'm currently working on a book for my aunt's friend, while also attempting to complete my portfolio for my job search. I also took a trip to Iowa to see my family, went to the Minnesota State Fair and the Como Zoo, and have been using my dad's camera to practice my love for photography. I'll be posting each of these experiences separately today.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ok, woah!

Dear Blog,
I know I've neglected you, but I've been very busy lately. More to come after the weekend, I promise!


Monday, August 3, 2009

What's to Come

What is to come on my blog? I will eventually be posting pictures of the wedding invites I finished, as well as pictures of glass etching (I have yet to do this) and my concepting as I attempt to paint and re-decorate our apartment. Stick with schedule is busy this summer, so I'll do my best to keep up with the blog!

Food Production and Social Responsibility

As some of you may know, I became a (semi) vegetarian about 6 months ago. I still eat seafood, but have completely eliminated any other meats. I did this not only for health reasons, but also because I have strong beliefs about animal cruelty. Why do I continue to eat fish? Primarily because of the lack of options at chain restaurants for a vegetarian. It is also another thing Don and I can eat together, since he has no intention of going veg. Since changing my diet, I have experienced a dramatic increase in my energy level and my overall well-being

I am in the middle of reading the book "Food Inc." which delves into several food production issues. It is my goal to finish the book before watching the documentary, which is currently in theatres. The more I process the information I am reading, the more frightened I become about the chemicals and processes used to produce our food, and the general lack of knowledge society has on the subject.

For more information on "Food Inc." visit

"Organic" has many meanings now, and this word can cause confusion for consumers. Ultimately some people become frustrated by the high price of "organic" meat and produce. Are there solutions to this? Could we buy organic for the produce that is the most heavily sprayed? Food Inc. makes a great point by suggesting that the long-term benefits of eating well will save us a great deal of money in the future. It also points out that many people spend $5 on a latte that lasts 5 minutes, but are reluctant to spend an extra $1 or $2 on a dozen cage-free eggs that will last much longer.

As a designer, I have been especially interested in the labeling issues associated with meat. I believe that graphic designers and marketers have a social responsibility when it comes to the spread of information. Should meat producers be allowed to label their beef accordingly if they thoroughly check every cow for mad cow disease? Many argue that would hurt other beef producers who find it too costly to test every cow. What kind of freedom should companies be allowed when it comes to their packaging? Should we refuse to do business with companies who aren't as "green" as they claim to be?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Falling Behind...

I know it's been a couple of days since my last post, and oh yes, I apologize. I have actually been diligently working on wedding invitations for my amazing friend Jessie. It has been a learning process for both of us, but we are nearing completion. Next Friday we will get to pick them up from a digital print house that I discovered and visited the other day. After walking in their entrance, I instantly eyed the Charles Spencer Anderson prints they had framed around their office. After asking, I discovered that they have printed several of their projects. CSA is a design firm based in Minneapolis, and I adore their work. Check out their website if you haven't already. or go to, where their French Paper identity is displayed. The graphics are whimsical and bright, reflective on the past yet relevant.

P.S. I'm going to try glass etching at some point in the next few days. Wish me luck, and I will post pictures of my success or failure. Either way, let's be honest about results, folks.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Love for Anthropologie

All images above are from

I can't help but share my love of the store Anthropologie with you. After moving to Minnesota I had the opportunity to explore the items by getting to touch and feel them, rather than staring at them via the catalog. There are a couple of stores in the area, and the retail environment is just as impressive as the catalog and online store suggested. The antique-inspired, rustic-turned-contemporary feel of their products (furniture, home decor, clothing, etc.) places me in design heaven! Every item has a particular respect for design quality, including the books they choose to sell. While most of their products are quite pricey, it is possible to find a deal in the sale section. Some of their smaller products also fit into a thrifty lifestyle budget. I have posted some of my favorites from their current catalog above.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Discovering Mobile Me and CS4

Recently I have had unfortunate luck, and my Apple Powerbook decided it was time to rest for all of eternity. After spending a few hours with my head resting on the desk of the Apple Genius bar, I found out that my hard drive had crashed, along with several other components.

As sad as this story is, it has a lovely outcome. I am now the proud owner of a new computer, and the purchase gave me the excuse to upgrade my Adobe software to CS4 from my outdated CS2 version. I'll be blogging about the great new features I discover along the way. The guy at the Apple Store also convinced me that I could benefit from a Mobile Me membership. I was reluctant until he shared that it allows me to sync my i-Phone calendar with the one on my computer. It also gives me an online FTP site that eliminates the frustrations that come with attempting to send large design files via e-mail.

With my new technology, I am on the road to finishing my portfolio and finding a job in the Twin Cities. I have realized throughout the past year in MN that I can't keep myself away from design, no matter how hard I try. I'm constantly looking for new projects, whether they are freelance or personal experimentations. If I'm not designing I'm reading an article out of Print Mag. Hmm...I might be slightly obsessed.